The mobile industry moves fast. As a leading company in the mobile location advertising and analytics industry, we have a responsibility to stay on top of the changes that affect our business, our customers, and the end users of their mobile apps. Reveal Mobile began in 2015, and from the start we set out to follow the best practices set forth by industry trade groups and the app store policies.
Over the past 30 days we’ve made additional efforts to strengthen our approach to protecting end user privacy and our data security. Before covering these, it’s worth calling out what we’ve always done.
- At our inception, we reviewed and implemented the recommendations of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), and the California Attorney General’s office.
- We joined the MMA and the IAB, and today serve on MMA’s Privacy Committee and the IAB’s Public Policy group. By participating in both of these member groups, we’re able to easily keep track of and implement new changes to privacy best practices.
- We’ve always honored the operating system “Do Not Track” or “Limit Ad Tracking” settings. If someone enables this feature on their device, we receive no data.
- We’ve always honored the location permission if someone chooses to disable location sharing. If someone opts-out of location sharing, we do not store any data on that device.
- We don’t collect any personally identifiable information.
- We don’t offer any product or service that enables seeing the details on an individual device. All data is aggregated and anonymized into audience segments like “coffee drinkers” or “Best Buy shoppers”. Advertisers want to reach hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes millions, in a target audience, with no interest in targeting an audience of one.
- Our contracts inform our customers of what data we collect as well as the steps they should take to ensure their privacy policies and notifications to end users contain the proper disclosures.
With that in mind, we’ve been making improvements in our approach to end-user privacy and transparency about our process.
- When a security researcher noticed that our technology transmitted data that could be leveraged to reverse engineer a device’s location even if a user opted-out of location sharing, we pushed out a change to the software within 24 hours. Now it is clear to anyone analyzing the software’s behavior that our technology stops all data transmission when someone opts-out of location sharing.
- We’ve initiated a third-party privacy and security audit with the Network Advertising Initiative, a non-profit organization that is the leading self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising. This six-week process ensures that we are up-to-date on the best practices for privacy and security across our contracts, technology, infrastructure, and marketing collateral. Once the NAI has verified that we are in compliance, Reveal Mobile becomes an official member of the NAI, which includes an annual re-certification process.
- We’re performing our own internal review of privacy policies and data security practices to ensure that it’s even easier for the average consumer to understand what data is collected, how and why it’s used, and how to opt-out.
- We joined the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a consumer privacy trade group: “Future of Privacy Forum is a nonprofit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. FPF brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation and develop privacy protections, ethical norms, and workable business practices.” Being a part of this group provides Reveal Mobile with additional information, education and support for remaining compliant with privacy practices and regulations.
The key takeaway here is that we have always been, and always will be, committed to transparency and privacy protection when it comes to data collection of any kind. It’s not only the right thing to do – we believe protecting consumer privacy is in the best interests of the entire mobile advertising ecosystem. By enlisting numerous organizations like the MMA, IAB, NAI, and FPF as partners, we will continue to learn and adapt quickly to the latest best practices and standards in the mobile advertising and privacy industries.